VENTSPILS, Latvia (NNS) -- The president of Latvia met with U.S. and U.K. military leaders in Ventspils during a visit June 10, in support of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise 2010.
Latvian President Valdis Zatlers met with U.K. Royal navy Rear Adm. Ian Corder, deputy commander, Combined Task Force BALTOPS and Marine Brig. Gen. Tracy L. Garrett, commanding general, 4th Marine Logistics Group. Zatlers and more than 60 distinguished visitors participated in several of BALTOPS' events; including visiting the sites constructed by Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 Detail, experiencing part of the Marine Corps pre-positioning offload, and touring Military Sealift Command ship SS Pfc. Eugene A. Obregon (T-AK 3006).
"I was really impressed to see the skills involved and the perfect cooperation between the different forces, representatives and our local sea port," said Zatlers. "It all seemed to go so smooth for only training together a couple days, I was very impressed and I am grateful to all the participants."
According to Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Elliot, 4th Landing Force Battalion has been preparing for beach operations while training with the Latvian National Guard.
"Throughout the last couple days we have been conducting convoy training, realistic urban warfare training and force protection training with the Latvian National Guard," said Elliot. "Today we are going to be loading an Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) and unloading on the beach so that today's guests can get a feel for our capabilities."
During the tour of Obregon, guests observed a roll-on/roll-off exercise, toured ship spaces and met Don Agold, Obregon's commanding officer.
According to Corder, the exercise has traditionally been a maritime exercise with operations conducted solely at sea, but this year's exercise has added two additional pieces.
"BALTOPS 2010 includes an offload in Latvia and an amphibious landing in Estonia," said Corder. "While the maritime piece remains the primary activity of BALTOPS, these other two pillars provide an expeditionary diversity not previously experienced in this exercise."
BALTOPS is comprised of forces from 12 countries and is the largest multinational naval exercise this year in the Baltic Sea. The exercise aims to improve maritime security in the Baltic Sea through increased interoperability and cooperation among regional allies.